Full Replay: Sarah Sanders WH Press Briefing; Sean Spicer Out, Anthony Scaramucci In


UPDATE: Scaramucci and Sanders spoke to the press for more than an hour Friday afternoon.


Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is scheduled to brief the WH press corps at 2:00 pm EST on Friday, following the announcement that Sean Spicer was resigning as press secretary.

Trump also announced Friday that he was hiring financier and Trump transition team member Anthony Scaramucci to be the new WH communicatons director (a different position that has been vacant since May). Spicer previously held both roles.

Scaramucci was the target of a so-called "fake news" article from CNN last month, which claimed he had some nefarious tie to Russia and had to be retracted. CNN fired three reporters for their mistakes in reporting the fake story.

Scaramucci is reportedly going to start work at the White House in August.



SCARAMUCCI: Thank you, (inaudible). Thank you very much.

So, I -- I'm going to be very brief. I'm going to make my remarks informal, and then I'll take -- take questions from everybody.

First off, I'd like to announce formally that Sarah Huckabee Sanders is going to be the press...

QUESTION: Can't hear.

SCARAMUCCI: Oh, you can't hear me? I'm sorry. Better? Sarah Huckabee Sanders is going to be the press secretary. And so, you can congratulate her after the session.

You still can't hear me? No sound? OK.

Better? Better now? Better now?

I'm going to start over.


You guys heard me in the front, though, right? What'd I -- what'd I say, John? Sarah's going to be the press secretary, right?


OK, so, congratulations to you, Sarah.


And so, I -- I -- I wanted to make a -- a -- a couple of statements.

The first thing I wanted to say is I want to thank personally Sean Spicer not only on behalf of myself, the president, the administration, but Sean is a true American patriot, he's a military serviceman, he's got a great family, and he's done an amazing job.

This is obviously a difficult situation to be in, and I applaud his efforts here. And I love the guy. And I wish him well. And I hope he goes on to make a tremendous amount of money.

As it relates to me in this position, I'm going to spend a couple of weeks getting to know the -- the people here. And I'm going to be as coordinated as I can with the people inside the West Wing.

There's been some speculation in the press about me and Reince, so I just want to talk about that very quickly.

Reince and I have been personal friends for six years. We are a little bit like brothers, where we rough each other up once in a while, which is totally normal for brothers. There's a lot of people in here that have brothers. And so, you get that.

But he's a dear friend. He brought me into the political system. He brought me into the Republican National Committee network. He introduced me to Governor Walker. We spent many times together socially.

A lot of people aren't aware about this, but after the Romney campaign, I invited Reince into SkyBridge. I think it reflects poorly on Reince that he didn't take my offer to come in and be our chief operating officer. But I say that in jest, obviously.

And so, what I want you guys to know is that he was my first call this morning. I met with him before we -- we sat in the Oval Office. And we are committed, as true professionals, to the team and the process of getting the administration's message out. I think that's going to be one of the big goals for us.

I said during the transition, and I'll say it up here, I think there's been at times a disconnect between the way we see the president and how much we love the president and the way some of you perhaps see the president. And I certainly see the American people probably see the president the way I do. But we want to get that message out there.

And to use a Wall Street expression, there might be an arbitrage spread between how well we are doing and how well some of you guys think we're doing. And we're going to work hard to close that spread.

And so, I'm done. I'll take your questions. Yeah -- no, I'll get -- get to as many people as I can until she hooks me.

QUESTION: Sure. Two questions...


SCARAMUCCI: Go -- go ahead.

QUESTION: Number one, what we have seen from this administration so far is the president being his own messenger very frequently, and that has caused, as you know, some struggles for the communications staff. How do you expect to get this White House back on track?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I -- going to take a slight issue with the question, because I actually think the White House is on track and we're actually, I think, doing a really good job...


QUESTION: ... perspective?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I -- I actually do think from a messaging (ph) perspective. Because we have a whole list of things. And I -- I didn't want to come out here with our list of accomplishments and start a whole advertisement infomercial right now. I really just wanted to talk about personnel movement and how we're thinking about things.SCARAMUCCI: But I -- I think we're -- I think we're doing an amazing job.

The president himself is always going to be the president. I was in the Oval Office with him earlier today, and we were talking about letting him be himself, letting him express his full identity.

I think he's got some of the best political instincts in the world, and perhaps in history. If you think about it, he started his political ascent two and two -- two years and two months ago, and he's -- he's done a phenomenal job for the American people.

And the people I grew up with -- they so identify with the president, and they love him. And so we're going to get that message out.



QUESTION: And my second question for you, too, if you can...

SCARAMUCCI: I'm going to get to -- I'm going to get to everybody. Don't worry.


QUESTION: ... if you can speak a little bit about how you plan to -- obviously you're a business guy, you're a Wall Street guy -- how you plan to handle any potential conflicts of interest, and walk us through how this offer was made to you, what the president said when you were here, what the conversation's been like.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I -- I don't think it's fair to the president for me to go into the exact conversation, because I want to keep those conversations between me and him private.

But we talked a little bit about the White House. We talked a little bit about our personal relationship. And then, when he extended the offer to me, I said I would do it, because I want to serve the president.

You know, one of the things -- I have a lot of family members that served in the American military. Unfortunately, my generation -- I'm born in 1964 -- I did not serve. I filled out the selective service. It's one of the regrets for my life. So this is an opportunity for me to serve the country.

I love the president. I obviously love the country. Look at my life experience here in the country. And so it's an honor to be here. It's an honor to stand here, actually.

QUESTION: And conflicts?

SCARAMUCCI: In terms of my personal business conflicts?

QUESTION: Correct, yeah.

SCARAMUCCI: Yeah, so I have worked with the Office of Governmental (sic) Ethics to take care of all of my business conflicts. My start date is going to be in a couple of weeks, so that it's a -- 100 percent totally cleansed and clean.

And I don't -- I don't see an issue with it. The Office of Government Ethics doesn't see an issue with it, nor does the White House counsel.

So -- but, you know, here's one thing I want to say about this, though. When you're bringing American businesspeople into the administration, and they've had some level of success in the -- in this society, they have to unencumber themselves.

You know, it's -- it's just a very interesting thing, and it's somewhat ironic. You want to go serve the country, and so the first thing you have to do is take on this mega opportunity cost by getting rid of all your assets, and so -- but I'm willing to do that, because I love the country.

John -- I'm going to get to everybody.

QUESTION: Anthony, you've been watching this White House from...




QUESTION: ... somewhat outside, and I'm sure you have your own perspective on what you've seen.

SCARAMUCCI: Not quite as candid as you, though. Not that outside.

QUESTION: What is the first thing you're going to change to try to right this ship and put it on a course?

SCARAMUCCI: Again, I take issue with that.

I think the -- the ship is going to go -- the ship is going in the right direction. I think we've got to just radio signal the direction very, very clearly.

I like the team. Let me -- let me rephrase that. I love the team.

And so, I'm an incrementalist. Most entrepreneurs you will find are incrementalists. To say something overly bold or overly dramatic is unfair.

What good entrepreneurs do is they start the day and they -- and they go through the process. The Navy SEALs will tell you that if you want to eat an elephant, you got to eat it one bite at a time, and Sarah and I are going to do that together.

I'm going to get to everybody. Guy right there (ph).

QUESTION: Anthony, did you have any hesitation taking this job, knowing it might cause some friction, and that it might lead to Sean leaving, which is what's going to happen? And the two are at least somewhat coincidental.

And did you have any hesitation about how you would relate to the rest of the White House staff if you came in under those circumstances?

SCARAMUCCI: OK, well -- well, listen. You know, remember, I'm a businessperson, and so, what happens in business a lot of the times is you have some rotation in personnel as you're -- as you're making changes, and you have lifestyle choices that people are also making.

I would love to have Sean here. Sean decided that he thought it would be better to go. And for me, as it relates to Sean, it speaks volumes to who he is as a human being, who he is as a team player. OK, so his attitude is, "If Anthony's coming in, let me clear the slate for Anthony," and I do appreciate that about Sean and I love him for it.

But I don't have any friction with Sean. I don't have any friction with Reince.

This is the White House of the United States of America. We're serving the president. And I want to make sure that our cultural template is that we put the president's agenda first, which is perfect for the American people, and we serve his interests.

And so, if we have a little bit of friction inside the White House as a result of that, it's OK. We can all live with that. I'm a businessperson. I'm used to dealing with friction.

QUESTION: You were a significant player during the transition. Was it disappointing that you did not land a post here from the get- go?

SCARAMUCCI: Again, I would say, as an entrepreneur, you have to be accustomed to setbacks. I've had a series of setbacks in my life, which I've written about. I wrote a best-selling book, and if you don't believe me, you can come into my basement, I'll show you every copy.

(LAUGHTER) In order to get it to be a best-selling book.

And so I'm -- I'm very honest about mistakes that I've made and setbacks that I've had.

And so, was I disappointed? Yes, I said that candidly that I was disappointed.

But I love the president and I'm very, very loyal to the president. And I love the mission that the president has.SCARAMUCCI: OK, since the early days of the campaign, when I went to these rallies and I saw the love that the people had for the president, and a lot of -- and I grew up in the middle class, and so there's a struggle out there. The president saw that before I did. I wish I could tell you I saw it before him, but he -- he taught it to me.

And I feel that struggle and I have empathy for that struggle and I want to be here to help make things better for the American people. So I'll -- I'll take the hit.

Yes, sir.

QUESTION: Anthony...

SCARAMUCCI: I'm going to try to get to everybody. I promise you. I'll try to get to everybody.

QUESTION: Sean told the A.P. and others that the president needed a clean slate. How does that comport with a White House that's headed in the right direction?

And secondly, how badly does the president need a win on health care in order (inaudible)?

SCARAMUCCI: (inaudible) one -- one problem with the way our society's working: Right now we are micromanaging the seconds of the news cycle.

I predict that the president will get a win in health care. That's my honest prediction, just because I've seen him in operation over the last 20-plus years.

The president has really good karma, OK? And the world turns back to him. He's genuinely a wonderful human being and I think as members of Congress get to know him better and get comfortable with him, they're going to let him lead them to the right things for the American people.

So I think we're going to get the health care done. I also think we're going to get tax reform done. And whatever else is on the president's agenda, we're going to work very, very hard, very studiously here to make it happen.


QUESTION: So, the cameras are back. Will you commit now to holding regular on-camera briefings, sir?

SCARAMUCCI: If she supplies hair and makeup, I will consider it.


But I need -- I need a lot of hair and makeup, John. I don't know, maybe.

QUESTION: (inaudible)

SCARAMUCCI: Not at all.

This is the press secretary. I'm up here today only because I think it's the first day, we made a mutual decision that it would make sense for me to come up here and try to answer as many questions as possible.

But we -- and the answer is we may. I have to talk to the president about that. I like consulting with the president before I make -- make decisions like that.

Go ahead, John. Keep going.

QUESTION: I know you've been one of the president's strongest supporters for -- for a while now. But does he know what you said about him back in 2015 when you said he was a hack politician?

SCARAMUCCI: He brings it up -- he brings it up every 15 seconds, OK.


One of the biggest mistakes that I made because I was an inexperienced person in the world of politics. I was supporting another candidate. I should have never said that about him.

So, Mr. President, if you're listening, I personally apologize for the 50th time for saying that.

But here's the wonderful thing about the news media: That was three minutes of my life, he's never forgotten it and you've never forgotten it.

But I hope that someday, Mr. President, you'll forget it.

I mean, let's go to the next question.

QUESTION: Can I ask you one last...

SCARAMUCCI: Go ahead, John.

QUESTION: There's been a question about credibility, some things that have been said in this room. Let me ask you a variation of what I asked Sean Spicer on his first day.

Is it your commitment to, to the best of your ability, give accurate information, the truth, from that podium?

SCARAMUCCI: I sort of feel like I don't even have to answer that question. I hope you can feel that from me just from my body language, that's the kind of person I am. I'm going to do the best I can.

I'm going to get to everybody. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Anthony, you mentioned your relationship with Reince. Was he involved in offering you this position? Was he consulted by the president ahead of time?

SCARAMUCCI: Yes. He was consulted. He was involved in the -- in the thing. There's a lot of speculation in the press about the timing and -- and so on and so forth. And so what I'm here to tell you is that we're a team.

Now, if you...

QUESTION: Can you walk us through how the job was offered?

SCARAMUCCI: Like I said, I think some of this stuff, it's unnecessary to go into that granular detail because then, you know, it's almost like the book "The Circle," where you have -- you're wearing, like, a police camera on you when you're having conversations. I don't think that's fair to the president.

But here's what I would tell you, OK? I'm a team player. I've, you know, played team sports my whole life, at least as a kid. And I believe that you have to subordinate yourself to the greater good of the team.

And if teammates don't have disagreements about certain things, then they're not going to get to the championship. You've got to get together and, you know, mix it up a little bit from time to time. I have no problem mixing it up with these -- these guys. I love these guys. I respect these guys.

Is it perfect every single day? Tell me whose life is perfect every single day.

But here's the commitment that I'm making to you and to the American people and to the president; that I'm here to serve him and I'm here to serve the people inside the West Wing.


QUESTION: Let me just follow up on John's question. Are you committed, then, to regular televised briefings and having a transparent relationship with the press?

SCARAMUCCI: OK, again, I obviously am committed to being transparent because I'm standing here. But I'd like to talk it over with the -- the president. And we have a new press secretary. I'd like to talk it over with her. And then we'll get back to you on that. But I -- you know, listen. I'm standing right here. I'm going to try to answer every question.

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